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Economy
7:35 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Pittsburgh International At 20

20 years ago today the state-of-the-art Pittsburgh International Airport opened for business.   The late Allegheny County Commissioner Tom Foerster greeted passengers at 5:30, the morning of October 1st, 1992.  US Air Flight 620 was the first to land at the new airport. 

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Environment & Energy
2:39 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

Poland Hopes to Frack Shale Deposits

A map showing major shale gas basins around the world.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ask Poles how they feel about fracking for natural gas and responses are mixed. They hope for big money and free flowing gas. They recognize legal, environmental and societal concerns, but ask them why fracking for homegrown gas is important and the answer is the same: energy independence.

Poles from all walks of life say if they can get to the natural gas that geologists and energy companies say is trapped deep underground, Poland would be free from reliance on its neighbors to the east — Russians.

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Environment & Energy
2:25 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

A Test Drill in Lesniowice

A test drill for shale gas was done by Chevron in Lesniowice earlier this year.
Erika Beras/90.5 WESA

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Poland has the same kinds of natural gas shale formations we have here in Pennsylvania. Many Poles hope hydraulic fracturing technology and the resulting release of natural gas will bring the country energy independence and a financial boom, but also like here in Pennsylvania, a number of Poles have a not-in-my-backyard attitude toward the developments. 

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Education
12:19 am
Sun September 30, 2012

Does Your Historical Site Have a Marker?

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) is once again asking people, cities, and historical societies to nominate their historical sites for a marker.

Since 1914, PHMC made more than 2,600 of the familiar blue and gold markers designating historical events, people, and dates.

PHMC spokesman Howard Pollman said the markers help communities recognize and preserve their local history.

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Local
4:00 pm
Sat September 29, 2012

When is a Street not a Street?

In Pittsburgh’s late summer, Charles Carthorn and his son, Chuckie, rode their bikes over a favorite shortcut, a path sandwiched between the former Reizenstein Middle School and The Ellis School.

But he worried that 12-year-old Chuckie might be tempted to jump over a five-foot wide sinkhole on the path that looks as if it would gobble up about one-third of an adult bike. The surrounding streets, however, are an even greater gamble for cyclists.

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Economy
7:26 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Pittsburgh Region's Workforce Aging Fast

The Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board (TRWIB) has issued a report on the aging of the region’s labor pool warning of a future shortage of workers.  The report finds the region will be faced with a high number of retirements in the future and not enough qualified younger workers to fill critical jobs in key sectors like manufacturing, education, health care, and the trades.

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Government
5:42 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Allegheny, Butler, Beaver and Greene Get DPW Block Grants

Four southwestern Pennsylvania counties are among the 20 that will be allowed more flexibility when it comes to using Department of Public Welfare dollars.  Allegheny, Butler, Beaver and Greene counties have been chosen to be part of the block grant pilot program.

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Health
5:32 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

West Penn Allegheny Health System says Highmark Breached Affiliation Agreement

West Penn Allegheny Health System said it is released from its obligations to Highmark under the affiliation agreement signed by the two entities in 2011. The reason, said WPAHS Board Chair Jack Isherwood, is a breach of the agreement on Highmark’s part. That breach, he said, comes in the form of an indication that Highmark would not consummate the agreement, even if the insurance commissioner approved it.

“Instead Highmark wants a new deal that involves West Penn Allegheny Health System undergoing a bankruptcy process,” said Isherwood.

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Local
3:45 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Judge Halts Williams Execution

A Philadelphia judge has halted Wednesday's scheduled execution of death-row inmate Terrance "Terry" Williams and granted him a new sentencing hearing.

Judge M. Teresa Sarmina said Friday prosecutors suppressed evidence that Williams' victim was an alleged pedophile who abused boys, including Williams.

However, Sarmina upheld Williams' first-degree murder conviction.

Williams' lawyers say police and prosecutors withheld evidence about the sexual link between him and victim Amos Norwood, so the jury never heard about it before voting for a death sentence.

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Government
11:43 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Judge Suggests Striking Part of Voter ID Law

A judge considering a challenge to a politically charged Pennsylvania law that requires voters to show photo identification suggested Thursday he may strike part of it so that someone who doesn't have a valid ID at the polls can cast a provisional ballot that will still count without getting one.

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Local
10:35 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Pro Anglers Compete In Pittsburgh

Professionals and celebrities will be casting their lines into Pittsburgh's rivers Friday and Saturday as part of the inaugural Marcellus Shale Coalition 3 Rivers Challenge.  

"They'll have a tugboat down here.  They're going to have a free fishing family day," said Chris Hoover, spokesman for  event coordinator FLW Outdoors, "where you can come down and fish off the bank.  You don't have to have a fishing license, and they'll be giving away about 400 rods and reels."

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Transportation
9:13 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

RAD Board Includes Port Authority in Proposed Budget

The Allegheny County Regional Asset District (RAD) is including $3 million in funding for the Port Authority in its proposed budget as a provisional grant. The preliminary $88.5 million budget includes 95 separate grants to 85 organizations, plus the provisional grant that is to be considered by the full board.

“If all of the measures are adopted the 2013 budget will be a 2.5 percent increase from the 2012 budget and the largest allocation in RAD history,” said board member Stanley Parker.

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Government
9:00 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Peduto Readies for Mayoral Run

Pittsburgh City Councilor Bill Peduto announced over Twitter today that he has filed paperwork needed to be eligible in the 2013 mayoral race.

Peduto is serving his third term on City Council representing District 8, which includes the neighborhoods of Bloomfield, Oakland, Shadyside, Squirrel Hill, East Liberty, and Point Breeze.

He said his first donor was Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald gave the campaign $8,000.

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Government
7:34 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Judge To Decide On Voter ID Case By Tuesday

The final day of the second hearing in Commonwealth Court on the Voter ID law saw testimony from witnesses called by lawyers challenging the law. 

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Education
7:14 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Pittsburgh Promise Fulfilling Goals – but Still Has Work to Do

The Pittsburgh Promise has issued its annual report, and overall it's doing well. The first goal, to transform the quality of public education in the state, is on the right track, according to Promise Executive Director Saleem Ghubril.

“In the last six years high school completion rates in Pittsburgh went from about 62 percent, 63 percent to 71 percent, so we’re delighted by that growth,” he said, “having said that, it’s not where we want to be, we want to be at at least 85 percent.”

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Health
4:00 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Walk For Parkinson’s Disease Research

Pittsburghers are being asked to get up and move for Parkinson’s disease on September 29.

The National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) is sponsoring Pittsburgh’s second annual Moving Day, a walk that helps to raise awareness of the disease.

In addition to the 1.5 mile walk, there will be a movement pavilion, where people can participate in activities such as yoga or zoomba, or simply go dancing.

Barbara Farrell, Executive Director of the NPF branch of Pittsburgh, said exercise is a critical component in managing the disease.

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Government
4:00 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

PA Failing to Enforce Puppy Mill Law

Thousands of dogs are languishing because the Pennsylvania Dog Law Enforcement Office has failed to enforce regulations meant to eliminate the substandard commercial kennels known as puppy mills, a state advisory board said Thursday. Dozens of kennels have been permitted to skirt tough new rules on ventilation, humidity, lighting, flooring and ammonia levels, the Dog Law Advisory Board's enforcement panel said in a new report.

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Environment
4:00 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Landscape Change A Direct Result Of Natural Gas Industry

While the natural gas industry continues to grow rapidly in Pennsylvania, the likelihood of negative effects on the landscape is also increasing. A report released by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) documented highly detailed patterns of disturbance related to the industry development.

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Government
10:39 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Report Criticizes PennDOT Workers' Knowledge of Voter ID Law

A new report from the independent Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PennBPC) claims state Department of Transportation (PennDOT) employees who issue photo identification cards have been spreading misinformation about the state’s new voter ID law.

PennBPC Director Sharon Ward said rank-and-file PennDOT employees gave wrong information to her group’s observers 46 percent of the time.

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Environment
10:35 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Water-Related Trade Group Formed to Enact CMU Recommendations

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) has released a report that makes suggestions on how southwestern Pennsylvania could resolve issues regarding the region's water supplies, like stormwater management and river navigation. At a news conference Thursday morning, a new water-related trade group was announced in order to take on those recommendations.

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Local
10:29 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Penn State Officials Lose Pretrial Motion on Perjury

Two weeks before former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is expected to be sentenced on child molestation charges, a county judge determined that perjury charges should remain in place against two university administrators.

Dauphin County Judge Todd Hoover ruled Wednesday against former Vice President Gary Schultz and Athletic Director Tim Curley on the felony perjury charge they both face, but he didn't decide on a separate request to throw out the other charge — failure to report suspected child abuse.

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Election
7:03 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Polls in PA Show Romney Trailing Obama

President Obama is showing a solid lead in two polls of registered Pennsylvania voters.  A Franklin and Marshall College poll shows a gap of 11 points between Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney among likely Pennsylvania voters.

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Government
6:53 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Revenues, Jobs Up At PA Casinos

Tax revenues from  the 11 casinos in Pennsylvania jumped 10% in the last fiscal year.  The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board released its 2011-2012 Annual Report which highlights the continued growth of licensed gaming iin the commonwealth between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012.  

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Education
6:47 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

African American Historical Convention To Be Held In Pittsburgh

African American Women in Culture and History is the theme for this year's convention of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) in Pittsburgh. 

The organization, which created Black History Month, will hold its 97th annual convention at the Westin Convention Center Hotel downtown from Wednesday through Sunday, September 26-30.

Sylvia Cyrus, ASALH Executive Director, says the conference will honor the impact of African American women on the black community and the nation as a whole.

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Economy
6:29 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Job Growth Slows, But Up Overall in Recent Years

http://2cccd5dfe1965e26adf6-26c50ce30a6867b5a67335a93e186605.r53.cf1.rackcdn.com/Job Growth Wrap_Emily Farah_SOC.mp3

Jobs grew by 1.1% in the Pittsburgh region over the last 12 months, but that figure is below the 1.3%  growth average of 15 benchmark cities.

Douglas Heuck, Director of Pittsburgh Today, says Pittsburgh is breaking its pattern of being at the bottom of the list.   Over the past four years, Pittsburgh is the only one of the 15 regions that reported growth in jobs.  The others all had a net loss over that period.

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Government
5:07 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Council Members Want to Change City Contracting Practices

Pittsburgh City Council soon will be discussing legislation to forge a citywide policy for hiring contractors, with an eye on normalizing the patchwork of policies used by Pittsburgh's authorities and departments. The goal is to encourage more bids from local firms, especially those owned by women, minorities and veterans.

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Education
4:47 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Social Network Model Reveals Global Food Trade Patterns Tied to Food Safety Standards

Food safety regulations can determine which countries trade corn with one another. That’s according to a new study by the University of Pittsburgh that used social network modeling to determine global trade patterns. Lead Author and Pitt Associate Professor Felicia Wu said it began with looking at the way countries regulate the contaminate aflatoxin, which grows on corn.

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Government
1:38 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Rally Calls For End To Human Trafficking

State lawmakers and human rights advocates rallied Tuesday at the state capitol in support of legislation aimed at putting an end to modern-day slavery.

Human trafficking is the second most pervasive crime in the world, behind drug trafficking. 

Under Senate Bill 388 and its companion, House Bill 235, the Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline number must be placed prominently in certain establishments and locations.

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Transportation
1:08 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Fancourt Bridge to Close

As of Thursday night the Francourt Bridge will be closed for long-term repairs, according to PennDOT District 11. The bridge carries the ramps from Fort Duquesne Blvd. to I-376.

Crews will be removing and replacing the superstructure, bridge deck, beams, bearing, and approach slabs during reconstruction.

Work will also be done on the walls adjacent to the bridge along the 10th Street Bypass.

Ramps from eastbound I-376 and southbound I-279 to the 10th Street Bypass will also close. According to PennDOT, the closures are necessary for work on the Fancourt Bridge.

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Economy
10:29 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Dozens Lobby City Council for 'Ban the Box' Legislation

Several dozen people gathered in Pittsburgh City Council Chambers Tuesday morning to demand that The Council pass a bill commonly known as "ban the box" legislation.

The bill would prohibit any criminal background inquiries on initial job applications for both public and private employers in the city, deferring those questions until the interview process. The measure was introduced last year by Council Finance Chair Ricky Burgess, but it is still awaiting a legal opinion from the city law department.

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